NPR science
1:46 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Scientists uncover millions of black holes

With its all-sky infrared survey, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has identified millions of quasar candidates. This image zooms in on one small region of the WISE sky, covering an area about three times larger than the moon. The WISE quasar candidates are highlighted with yellow circles.

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:35 pm

This paragraph from NASA worried us:

"In one study, astronomers used WISE to identify about 2.5 million actively feeding supermassive black holes across the full sky, stretching back to distances more than 10 billion light-years away. About two-thirds of these objects never had been detected before because dust blocks their visible light. WISE easily sees these monsters because their powerful, accreting black holes warm the dust, causing it to glow in infrared light."

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12:21 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Shell can start drilling preparations in Alaska's Chukchi Sea

One of two drilling platforms the oil company plans to use in the Arctic.
The Associated Press

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says Royal Dutch Shell will be allowed to begin preparation work at exploratory drilling sites in the Chukchi.

Salazar says the company has been authorized to dig what are called mud-line cellars in the ocean floor to protect blowout preventers that would be installed later below the sea floor level.

The company also will be allowed to drill small pilot holes down to about 1,400 feet.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Preview: UW Huskies prepare for a tough season

Washington's Josh Shirley, center, Gregory Ducre, left, and Alameda Ta'amu celebrate a sack during the first half of the Alamo Bowl against Baylor Dec. 29, 2011, in San Antonio.
Darren Abate AP Photo

The Washington Huskies ended their season last year with a 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl. As they gear up for 2012, they face an even tougher schedule. UW opens the season Saturday night vs. San Diego State.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will have more on the Huskies stiff competition this season, coming up tomorrow morning at 5:30 and 7:30 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

11:42 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Fry's to pay $2.3M in Renton sexual harassment settlement

Federal officials say electronics retailer Fry's will pay a $2.3 million settlement after the retaliatory firing of a supervisor who alerted the company's legal department that one of his employees was being sexually harassed.

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11:14 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Give a hipster a 'whac' at Bumbershoot this weekend (sort of)

In this screen grab from The Stranger's blog Slog, you get the gist of the 'Whac-A-Hipster' game.

In a game reminiscent of Whac-A-Mole, a press release making the rounds in the Seattle blogosphere says Toyota will offer you a chance to “Whac-A-Hipster” this weekend at Bumbershoot.

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Economy and environment
10:40 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Study: NW gasoline consumption falling to 1996 levels

Driving around Seattle may feel as congested as ever, but a new report says we're making fewer trips and burning less gas.
Craig Damlo Flickr

The high price of gasoline is leading Northwesterners to drive less and use more fuel-efficient cars, according to the Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based environment and policy research nonprofit.

According to the study:

“Washington and Oregon are on track to burn less gasoline in their cars and trucks this year than at any time since 1996 – less even than in 2008, when gas prices spiked and the economy cratered. … At least for the 
moment, the plateau in gas consumption that began in the
late 1990s has turned into a gentle downward slide.”

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2012 elections
10:05 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Wash. Gov. Debate: Sparring Over Taxes, Tiff Over Tax Returns, Light Moments

Rob McKenna (L) and Jay Inslee sparred in their second official debate Wednesday night at WSU's Vancouver campus. Image via KATU.

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 7:53 am

The candidates for Washington governor sparred over taxes and personal tax returns in their second official debate Wednesday night. The face-off took place on the Vancouver campus of Washington State University.

On stage, Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna stood elbow-to-elbow at podiums. But on the issues they were far apart.

Early in the debate they were asked to critique each other’s plans for getting Washington’s economy going again. McKenna said business owners aren’t buying Inslee’s proposed Research and Development tax credit.

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NPR Health
9:46 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Does Mother's Abortion History Affect Baby's Birth Weight?

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 5:16 am

Women who had multiple abortions before giving birth to a first child were more likely to have that child very prematurely or to deliver a child with a low birth weight, according to one of the first large-scale studies to look at the issue.

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Naive American issues
9:19 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Court oks case challenging gas tax compacts 

YAKIMA, Wash. — Washington's Supreme Court says a lawsuit challenging the state's gas tax compacts with American Indian tribes may proceed even though the tribes are not party to the lawsuit.

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NPR Food
9:05 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Do vegetarians and vegans think they are better than everyone else?

Asparagus and tofu

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 8:58 am

Do vegetarians and vegans think they are better than the rest of us? Judging from personal experience, a good number of people who aren't vegetarian or vegan would offer a resounding "Yes" to this question.

Those individuals who publicly tout eating no meat, especially when their stated reason has to do with caring about animals, are thought to be telegraphing a message of superiority: My dietary choices make me a better person than you.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
7:52 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Questions linger over piping Hanford's nuclear waste to treatment plant

The Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant is located on the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford site. Photo courtesy of Bechtel

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 4:47 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. -- This week we heard that yet another top-level government engineer has serious concerns about the design and construction of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. If that wasn’t enough of a headache for the U.S. Department of Energy, there’s more. A new report from the investigative arm of that department is raising concerns about the design and construction of the system that’s intended to carry the waste to the treatment plant.

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Hiking woes
7:45 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Gang of goats closes Olympic National Forest trail

HOODSPORT, Wash. — Olympic National Forest officials are keeping a popular trail in Mason County closed because of aggressive mountain goats.

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npr health
7:12 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Subtracting Calories May Not Add Years To Life

A rhesus monkey eats watermelon, provided by zookeepers, at the Kamla Nehru Zoological Gardens in India in May 2012.
Sam Panthaky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:34 am

Scientists have known for decades that lab rats and mice will live far longer than normal if they're fed a super-low-calorie diet, and that's led some people to eat a near-starvation diet in the hopes that it will extend the human life span, too.

But a new study in monkeys suggests they may be disappointed.

The long-awaited results of this study, which started back in 1987, show that rhesus monkeys fed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories than normal did not live unusually long lives.

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Changing Seasons
5:01 am
Thu August 30, 2012

End of summer blues, already?

Late summer brings the delight of blooming Dahlias in the northwest...but they'll be gone in just a few weeks. Are you counting the days till school starts? Or dreading the lack of light in winter?
jikido-san Flickr

The Labor Day weekend coming up marks the unofficial end of summer -- time to put away those white pants and get ready for fall.

KPLU asked folks on the streets of downtown Seattle how they feel about the days getting shorter and autumn right around the corner?

It's not a scientific poll, but there's no question that some people love the crisp fall air that heralds in the start of school...while others dread the stress of more work and less play.

[Listen to our audio collage, by clicking on the "play" icon above.] 

Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Work songs for Labor Day

Hey! It's the shiny new video version of Record Bin Roulette! Check it out!

It's a shame that the only thing a person can do for eight hours a day is work. Can't eat for eight hours; can't drink for eight hours; can't make love for eight hours. The only thing a person can do for eight hours is work.

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